HHS Urges Primary Care Clinicians to Help Patients Manage Long COVID’s Mental Health Symptoms

By Melissa Suran: Complete Post through this link…

ngd-Seems reasonable to me if you actually want to do something about long covid…

Through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HHS issued a new advisory to help primary care clinicians identify and manage mental health symptoms associated with long COVID, which it defines as health issues that develop or persist for 4 or more weeks after an initial COVID-19 infection. The advisory discusses the epidemiology of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment and provides resources for clinicians to assess and treat these issues.Why This Is ImportantThe advisory states that at least 10% of people who develop COVID-19 experience long COVID symptoms, which may worsen over time and can continue in a pattern of relapse and recovery.“We know that people living with Long COVID need help today, and providers need help understanding what Long COVID is and how to treat it,” HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, MD, said in a statement. “This advisory helps bridge that gap for the behavioral health impacts of long COVID.”The Range of SymptomsAccording to the advisory, mental health symptoms linked with long COVID include

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive impairment, such as brain fog
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Initial onset of substance use disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Sleep disorders

In an interview with JAMA, Roy Perlis, MD, MSc, who was not involved with the advisory, said he was “very pleased that SAMHSA stepped forward to emphasize that mental health symptoms are common in people with long COVID.” Perlis is the associate chief for research in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. “When we don’t talk about those symptoms,” he said, “we potentially deprive people of the opportunity to address some of the long COVID symptoms that may be really impacting their lives.”

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